Touchdown! Healthy Treats for your Next Tailgate

Touchdown! Healthy Treats for your Next Tailgate

Sep 17 2021

Lighten up your tailgate treats with these fun and flavorful ideas.

By Michelle Faber, NBC- HWC, EP-C

The transition to fall and football season is here! That also means that it’s time for tailgating and football parties. Some tailgating foods that come to mind for me are pizza, chicken wings, burgers, and beer. Sounds delicious, right? If you’re trying to stick to eating healthier – the food at tailgates doesn’t have to be boring. Here are a few light tailgating recipes that will be crowd pleasers!


  • Avocado Hummus: Try this Avocado Hummus recipe for a healthier take on dips for different breads and chips. Some bonus points – it doesn’t have that many ingredients!
  • Buffalo Chicken Dip: One of my favorite tailgating dips is Buffalo Chicken Dip,  and it’s usually full of sour cream and cream cheese. Try this recipe for a similar, lighter version.
  • Nachos: Who doesn’t love nachos? They’re easy to make and you can throw whatever you want on them. One way to make them lighter, but still delicious is to use sweet potatoes instead of chips. Try this Sweet Potato Nacho Recipe and see what you think!

Main Course

  • Black Bean Burger: Burgers are a staple at any tailgate! They don’t have to be bad either – one option is just eating one half of the bun and make it an open facing sandwich. Another option is to try this Salsa Black Bean Burger. It has tons of flavor and is highly rated. Try it for a different spin on a full beef burger.
  • Wings: Let’s talk chicken wings. What is football without wings? The American Heart Association provided this healthier version of Slow Cooker Chicken Wings that have an amazing taste! The fat is trimmed from the chicken, it’s not fried or breaded, and the sauce uses a yogurt base.
  • Chili: Fall season is also time to layer up a little bit more. Warm up while watching your favorite team with this heart healthy chili recipe.

Drinks and Desserts

  • Iced Tea: This Cinnamon-Cider Iced Tea is going to warm your heart. I can smell the cinnamon just thinking about it! This is something all guests can enjoy and can be made with or without alcohol. Please keep in mind the recommended amount of alcohol is one drink a day or less for women and two drinks a day or less for men according to the dietary guidelines.
  • Cookies: Finish the game off with these tasty No-Bake Peanut Butter Cookies. They have less processed sugar and butter but no less flavor. Adults and kids will both approve!

All in all – have fun, be safe and cheer loudly for your team (GO BLUE). Enjoy the time with family and friends with some of these tasty treats above.

About the Author: Michelle Faber, NBC- HWC, EP-C is a national board-certified health and wellness coach on the wellness team at Priority Health. She has a passion for helping individuals find their motivation and purpose to make and sustain healthy lifestyle changes in all areas of life. Michelle is certified as an Exercise Physiologist through the American College of Sports Medicine and loves working with people who are managing chronic disease, pregnancy, and exercise in young children and families. She is also an Orthopedic Specialist through the American Council on Exercise.

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